Erika Amato, lead singer of Velvet Chain, had the kindness to answer to an exclusive interview for Slayer Revival. If her face looks familiar it is because Erika appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997. Indeed, the band gives a concert at the Bronze in the episode 1.05 Never Kill a Boy on the First Date.

If you don't remember her face, here's a little video she did to us to say hi :

Interview

She then answered several questions gathered by Simon. Here is a sample. To read the complete interview, check out our mini-site The Bronze.

You appeared on the show in 1997 in one episode. Can you share with us your experience from set ?

When we did our episode, it was only the third episode to be shot (even though it was the 5th one aired). Buffy was a mid-season replacement, and we had no idea it would be such a big hit. I was thrilled to be there, and as an actress, I was pretty familiar with the politics of shooting on set…but my husband (Jeff Stacy, our bass player and primary writer/producer) kept walking around saying awkward things like, How in the world are they going to make a series out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?!? It’ll never work! ». lol It was kind of embarrassing, but nobody seemed to take offense. Also, something interesting is that when we shot our scenes, they would start the playback of the music,and then turn it off for the actual scene. So, we all had to « play » (silently) and lip-sync to a rhythm that was just in our heads. There was NO MUSIC at all to play along with! I’m actually very proud of the fact that my lip-syncing came out well. I must’ve kept a good, steady beat in my head! hahaha

In France we have a podcast called « Why Buffy is awesome ? ». So I would like to ask you, why do you think Buffy is such an amazing show? ?

I think it’s an awesome show because it features a very strong female lead surrounded by interesting, complicated characters.. I think it continues to be so popular because the writing is fantastic, the acting is great, and everyone in the world can relate to feeling like an outsider in high school. Plus, it’s super funny and quotable!!

Read the complete interview in english
You are Velvet Chain’s singer. Where does the name « Velvet Chain » come from exactly?

Well, we’d had an earlier incarnation of the band with a different name for about a year, but I was one of two lead singers in that version (the other being a guy), and we needed to come up with a brand-new name to go with this new version of the band (with me as the only singer). We wanted to find something that expressed both sides of our music – softness with a hard edge – and we came up with Velvet Chain. Sort of smooth and sexy, but hard and edgy, too.

You appeared on the show in 1997 in one episode. Can you share with us your experience from set?

When we did our episode, it was only the third episode to be shot (even though it was the 5th one aired). Buffy was a mid-season replacement, and we had no idea it would be such a big hit. I was thrilled to be there, and as an actress, I was pretty familiar with the politics of shooting on set…but my husband (Jeff Stacy, our bass player and primary writer/producer) kept walking around saying awkward things like, « How in the world are they going to make a series out of « Buffy the Vampire Slayer?!? » It’ll never work! » lol It was kind of embarrassing, but nobody seemed to take offense. Also, something interesting is that when we shot our scenes, they would start the playback of the music, and then turn it off for the actual scene. So, we all had to « play » (silently) and lip-sync to a rhythm that was just in our heads. There was NO MUSIC at all to play along with! I’m actually very proud of the fact that my lip-syncing came out well. I must’ve kept a good, steady beat in my head! hahaha

Any funny short stories to tell?

I think the one I just told about Jeff is pretty funny. 😉 Also, while I was sitting at a makeup table, waiting around for our scene to be shot, David Semel (the director) came up to me and said, « Hey, Charisma, we need you on set! » I was all, « Hi, I’m not Charisma. I’m Erika Amato, lead singer of Velvet Chain. » It was pretty funny. (I guess we looked a lot alike from the back!)

Have you met the cast while shooting?

Yes, I met everyone that day and stayed friendly with a lot of the cast members. Both Sarah Michelle Gellar and Charisma Carpenter in particular were very nice and complimentary to me and the rest of the band about our music. (And my clothes!)

Do you have some exclusive behind the scenes pics from set to share with us?

No, unfortunately I didn’t take any photos that day.

Velvet Chain released a « Buffy EP ». Where did this idea came from?

We knew we were going to be on the official Buffy Soundtrack Album (in 1999), and we thought it would be fun to release an EP with both the songs they’d used on the show (« Strong » and « Treason ») plus our own ode to the show (the song, « Buffy » – which is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek, James-Bond-type theme song) on it as a companion release. We also included some alternate versions of songs and a couple of other tracks that we thought had the « Buffy » vibe.

Seth Green worked with you on the « Buffy EP. » He also toured with you if I’m right. Are you still in contact with him today?

Unfortunately, I lost touch with Seth by the mid-2000s. He’s a great guy, though. But to be clear: he didn’t tour with us or anything… We had written the « Buffy » song, and we’d been hanging out with Seth socially, and I knew he played guitar, so we thought it would be cool to ask him to play on the track! He came over to our tiny little home studio and laid down the rhythm guitar part on that one song, and then he played the song live with us a couple of times in LA. It was fun!

You also had the chance to participate to the « Buffy posting board party 1999″. Where did the party took place ? In some pictures it looks like it was at the Bronze… Any memories from this party?

Wow, that was a long time ago… But I think it was held at the Hollywood Athletic Club. The performance/dance floor area was where the pool used to be! Not the best acoustics… 😉

Do you have a long version of [your version of the Angel] Theme ?

Yes, we do. (We wrote it at the request of the studio and apparently it was a very close second choice, but obviously they didn’t end up selecting it… It would’ve been awesome if our song had been the »Angel » theme! But of course the Darling Violetta theme is terrific!)

In France we have a podcast called « Why Buffy is awesome ? » ("Why Buffy This is Great," in french). So I would like to ask you, why do you think Buffy is such an amazing show?

I think it’s an awesome show because it features a very strong female lead surrounded by interesting, complicated characters. I think it continues to be so popular because the writing is fantastic, the acting is great, and everyone in the world can relate to feeling like an outsider in high school. Plus, it’s super funny and quotable!

Angel Theme by Velvet Chain

We have another exclusivity that you won't find anywhere else : Angel Theme by Velvet Chain !

When Joss Whedon created the show Angel, he asked several bands to compose a music for the opening theme. It is Darling Violetta which got the job and that is the band that we can hear in the actual opening. But the band Velvet Chain was also part of the contestants.

Here's the song they offer to Joss Whedon and did not get selected. Erika Amato, lead singer of, had the kindness to share it exclusively with us, thank you so much !

Video Credit : @BuffyIsRock